Bolivia is located in the center of South America and is rich in natural beauty and culture, but it is one of the poorest countries on the planet. More than 2.5 million Bolivians do not have access to potable water services and another 5 million lack sanitation services.
The government recognizes the right of every Bolivian to have access to drinking water and sanitation as a critical step in ending extreme poverty.
CHOICE Humanitarian has been working in Bolivia for more than 30 years, providing indigenous families from different municipalities and provinces of the Bolivian altiplano with water systems. In each project, the community and local government are involved in the implementation of the infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of the project and to organize and train the Committees of Drinking Water and Sanitation (CAPyS). This involvement guarantees the successful maintenance and administration of the systems. These systems are located in the municipalities of Batallas, Ingavi, Pacaes, and many others. They have been operating for more than 20 years with the care and improvements managed by local leaders. Empowerment of local leaders and the community at large is a critical part of CHOICE’s model.
Recently a new water system was built that benefited 572 inhabitants of Laja Municipality. The entire community completed assignments given by the head of their new water committee and CHOICE Bolivia. The community is very happy and grateful to the institution that has made its financing possible.
Community Leader Humberto Poma Alegria said, “the community did not have water, we had to bring water from various slopes near our homes. This was a lot of work, but now we have water that comes to our homes. Also, the health center did not have water, but now our community has installed water pipes to the health center.”
The most vulnerable populations of those living in extreme poverty are indigeno
us people, women, and children under five. When Bertha Cup had water for the first time in her house, she was overcome by emotion. “I feel very happy because now I have water in my house. It’s something I cannot believe,” said Bertha.
Happy World Water Day from CHOICE Bolivia and the Laja Municipality!
To help other women like Bertha enjoy clean water in their home for the first time, please donate to our water projects. http://bit.ly/2nREiPW